Sheltered by the Alps, lapped by the blue waters of the Mediterranean, the French Riviera-Cote d’Azur claims lots of summer sun and mild winters. Luxury resorts are dotted all along the coast, super yachts breathe glamour in every harbour while designer boutiques display the latest creations and best French perfumes from Grasse.
There are bays and coves, islands, dramatic gorges and hilltop villages with breathtaking views. Summer brings myriad Parisians in search of sun and sea but inland are quiet places fragrant with wild herbs and lavender.
French Riviera Luxury Resorts, St Tropez and Antibes to Cannes and Nice
- Spot the stars in the stylish resort of Cannes, especially during the annual film festival, walk along the Croisette, the place to see and be seen, and marvel at the mega-yachts, red carpets and glamorous girls. Shop for designer wear but expect prices to match.
- Relax on the beach in Nice, stroll along the Promenade des Anglais and discover the authentic flavour of Provence in the Old Town. Try a salade niçoise, with tuna, olives and more, sail around the Bay of Angels and explore the Castle and Cimiez hills.
- Visit Antibes, a beautiful resort tucked between two coves, with a gleaming harbour and an old meandering town where Picasso found inspiration. The neighbouring Juan les Pins claims a thriving nightlife and a renowned Jazz Festival.
- Dream in St Tropez where show-biz and film stars sip sophisticated cocktails on luxury yachts, or watch the locals play petanque on the square in the cool evening. Shop for Rondini sandals and wander through the nearby vineyards of Ramatuelle.
Cote d’Azur, Top Things to Do, Eze to Monaco
- Enjoy a scenic drive along the Corniche coastal road between Nice and Monaco and see the medieval hilltop villages of Eze and La Turbie. La Turbie has a Roman victory monument, Eze has exotic gardens with fabulous views, 429 metres above the sea.
- Visit St Paul de Vence, a favourite haunt of artists, past and present. Lunch with celebrities at the ‘inn of the golden dove’ and gaze at paintings by Braque and others on the walls. Meet more artists in picturesque Vence and pop into the Rosary chapel decorated by Matisse.
- Visit the Monaco principality for all-out glamour or stroll around the lovely town of Menton with its air of nearby Italy. There are terraced gardens and orchards and a popular lemon festival in winter.
Verdon Gorges in Provence, Grasse for French Perfume
- Tour the lavender fields in season and head for Grasse, hailed as the world perfume capital. Learn all about French perfume in the Gallimard Fragrance Studio where visitors can book a session to create their own.
- Sail to Ste Marguerite, the largest of the Lérins islands, just 15 minutes from Cannes. Relax in the shade of umbrella pines, visit the Sea Museum and former prison of the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask.
- Explore the spectacular Verdon Gorges with their blue-green waters at the heart of eastern Provence, or ramble through the Loup Gorge near Grasse where the Courmes waterfall drops 40 metres.